Homemade Aged Pizza dough is an amazingly easy thing to make at home and it freezes so well. It tastes so much better than just made pizza dough and all you have to do is let it sit.
What is the secret to aged pizza dough? If you are not familiar with aged pizza dough or aged dough for that matter, it is a process of simply allowing your dough to sit for anywhere from 24 hours to a week in the refrigerator.
That is it! Just let that dough sit and age and it will taste amazing.
This process helps the pizza dough to develop a beautiful flavor. Maybe you once thought that your pizza dough was bad because it sat in your refrigerator too long and you threw it out. I am here to tell you that as long as your dough was wrapped tight to keep it from drying out, letting that dough sit for a while only makes it taste better.
There are no special ingredients for this aged pizza dough. All the ingredients for the dough are the same as a regular pizza dough. The only change from regular pizza dough and aged pizza dough is the aging process. It is really fun to do, especially when you see it growing in the refrigerator (you see that the dough is actually alive)!
I like to make a double batch of this aged pizza dough and freeze them. When I am ready to make pizza, I just take two discs out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw slowly overnight in the refrigerator.
My family is really big on homemade pizza night at home and we grill most of our pizzas outside! It is so delicious this way! I will be working on a post for that soon so you know how easy it is.
Pizza Dough is Alive and it Will Grow!
If you are going to make this aged pizza dough, you definitely want to make sure you check on it from time to time in the refrigerator since it expands a bit. Some of my pizza dough has tried to make an escape out of the plastic wrap I place it in.
When working with dough, there is almost always an alive component and here it is yeast. If your yeast is alive then your dough will grow.
To make sure it is sealed tight, I like to place the dough on the center of a large piece of plastic wrap and fold all the sides over it to the middle. I then take the long end of the plastic wrap and twist it together. Then I wrap it one more time in another piece of plastic wrap and it cannot escape.
If your dough does escape just re-wrap it. It will not grow too much but it will grow a bit.
Working with yeast
For the longest time, yeast recipes totally stumped me and I never had any success with them. My yeast either died or didn’t activate with the “warm water” called for in recipe instructions. I don’t want to have to stick a thermometer in any recipe item because I just do not have time for that.
What I learned over the years to make sure yeast works in my recipes are:
- Make sure you are working with yeast that is not really old. It actually lasts a long time in the refrigerator but it can still get old. Anything after a year may be time to purge.
- When recipes call for warm water to activate the yeast (this means you are waking it up), warm water to you and me can mean different things. If I stick my finger in the water and it feels really warm, almost hot then it will work. The water needs to feel a little uncomfortable to you when you touch it but not to the point of burning you. Just plain warm water won’t always wake up your yeast.
I hope these tips are helpful. Once you get the hang of this, you’ll see how easy homemade pizza dough is to make. It’s also so much more economical and healthy!
Aged Pizza Dough
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons water preferably bottled spring water at room temperature
- 2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or a high gluten flour
- Vegetable oil for the bowl
- Stir the yeast into the warm water and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the remaining water into the creamy yeast mixture, and then stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time. If mixing by hand, stir with a wooden spoon for 3 to 4 minutes. If mixing with a stand mixer, beat with the paddle at the lowest speed for 2 minutes. If mixing with a food processor, mix just until a sticky dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at cool room temperature for 24 hours, until the dough is triple its original volume but is still wet and sticky.
- If using right away, divide the dough into two sections by cutting it in half with a knife.
- On a well floured surface, roll your dough out to desired size. Alternatively, you can skip the rolling and gently hand stretch your pizza dough to desired size.
- Add your toppings and bake based on your desired pizza recipe
Freezing the pizza dough: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in freezer. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, let it rest at room temperature for about 3 hours until it is bubbly and active again.)